This moment is the craziest time for the diplomatic relationship between the United States and Russia. It is indeed the lowest point the two countries have been since the end of the Cold War. There are several accusations and counter-accusations from the officials of both governments to the extent that it is almost difficult to separate facts from fiction. The latest of such madness is coming from Sergei Naryshkin, the Speaker of the Russia’s State, Duma. He unequivocally accused the Obama Administration as well as the United States for turning Russians and other people in the world into zombies to do his imperialistic bids. He published this opinion in the government paper Rossiiskaya Gazeta and quipped: “You might want to ask: what is the U.S.’s final goal? The answer remains the same: Their external debt is huge, and bankrupting other states is their habitual method. U.S. Sanctions against Russia, which target both public and private entities, as well as industries, are aimed to ruin Russia’s economy,” he wrote.
U.S. turning people into zombies against Russia
Are Sergei Naryshkin’s allegations genuine? Who are these zombies he strongly believes U.S. propaganda have turned into Russia’s main antagonists? The answers may not be far-fetched: The United States has been successful in mobilizing its allies, most especially those in Europe and Asia to impose strict sanctions on Russia, its elites and their interests overseas. Banks have been affected: Russian Ruble has continued to depreciate without any hope of a near-future recovery. And, of course, Russian economy has suffered brutally from these unexpected economic happenings. Many governmental services for ordinary Russian people have been scaled back and some civil servants have been fired. This sudden hardship can be felt in every corner of Russia, with those in the rural areas facing the most uncomfortable situations. How long will the Russian leaders follow this way of self-destruction and desist from provoking other nations into forcing sanctions down their throats?
It seems Sergei Naryshkin has forgotten the reasons while U.S. and its allies impose sanctions on Russia. Russia’s incursion into Ukraine has been perceived as an act of land-grabbing, and the rushed annexation of Crimea revealed that Russian leaders had a dangerous idea in their minds to destabilize the region. Who would Naryshkin blame for the life-threatening effects of Russia’s own retaliatory sanctions that target Western food products imported into Russia? In a televised show of shame, Russian authorities are incinerating some cheese and other food items imported from Europe. This action has caused much uproar from activists who believed that the government should have been kind enough to give the foods that are being wasted to poverty-stricken Russian people.
Sergei Naryshkin was full of himself or was just fooling himself when he retorted that “I think the U.S. will continue turning people into Zombies with their false information, by presenting whatever they want as reality and creating pretexts for unleashing anti-Russian sentiments in Europe,” he wrote. While his accusations might carry some weight with those who believe in his rhetoric and those of other paid Russian propagandists, Sergei may not have realized that Russian retaliatory sanctions hurt its people as much as the ones imposed by the United States and its Western allies.
Another chance for Russia?
Does Russia have a chance to be re-united with the world leaders and re-take its position as a member of the highly revered G8? Definitely! President Obama has always reiterated the willingness of the global community to embrace Russia once again if it chooses to forgo the path of aggression he has taken as far as Ukraine issue is concerned. The European Union, through leaders like Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and France’s President Hollande have repeatedly expressed their desire to work with Russia on a number of economic and political agreements, some of which they were deliberating upon before Russia ordered its forces to surreptitiously enter into Crimea.
There’s a little glimmer of hope that President Vladimir Putin will be changing his stance on Ukrainian separatists any time soon. This is because the Kremlin has always had an unrealistic picture of what exactly they want to achieve in Ukraine. Their ambition is possibly reflected in the words of Igor Girkin, the former rebel commander and Russian agent, who was actively involved in Ukraine’s crisis: “Putin has made himself a hostage to the war in Ukraine by opting not to annex Donetsk and Luhansk regions after taking Crimea,” he said in an interview. “If the president has sent troops into Donetsk and Luhansk to support the insurgents like he did in Crimea, all of Novorossiya or New Russia would now be reunited with the motherland,” Igor gushed. With a hardline view like this, it shows that Russian leaders are still unsure about how they are going to end the Ukrainian crisis.
It is somehow true that Russia is stuck on his adventure into Ukraine, but since its leaders have always chosen to deny all their past involvements in the crisis, it is almost impossible to see how they are going to bring a closure to the strife. But it is apparent that Russia’s denials may soon turn into objects of ridicule. Immediately after the Malaysia’s civilian airline MH17 was downed over Ukraine in July 2014, Russia and the separatists made frantic efforts to hide every evidence that might show that the plane was actually shot down. Experts have pointed to the use of anti-aircraft missiles, which the separatists wouldn’t have had access to except Russia supplied them some. And when the United Nations’ Security Council made an attempt to set up a tribunal that will investigate who was responsible for shooting down the plane, Russia wielded its veto-power at the United Nations and stopped the process. Why are Russian leaders acting like a bunch of idiots suffering from some kind of paranoia? If they know that they are innocent of the crash, why shouldn’t they allow the tribunal to be set up and justice be meted out to the killers? Majority of people all over the world suspect Russia-backed Ukrainian rebels were the culprits to be blamed for this wicked act against humanity.
The cause of the MH17 crash
It may be impossible for Russia to forever obstruct justice for the victims of MH17, because they come from a number of countries. It is apparent that their leaders will pressurize the United Nations or other relevant international organizations to finally know the cause of the crash that untimely claimed the lives of their innocent citizens.
As long as he refuses to pull his country out of the current diplomatic rut it has found itself, President Vladimir Putin will have to put up with the prevailing economic problems in his homeland. He has a lot of explaining to do to his people for failing to provide them good healthcare, education and foods as some civil servants have been forced to leave their jobs. Some hospitals in the rural areas have been closed due to lack of doctors and medicine. Some schools are also affected and shut. The world has waited long for Russia to get itself together and choose legality over illegal actions. Russia’s economy that is in a free-fall now may not recover anytime soon if Russian leaders still consider Ukraine as a prize for their machismo. They should realize that Ukraine is an independent country and its sovereignty must be respected by all, including Russia.